Licence to dig: What you need to be a treasure hunter
Using a metal detector without a licence to search for archaeological objects is an offence under the National Monuments Act.
It is also against the law to carry out excavation to recover such objects and clean or alter them.
Similarly, promotion of the use or sale of metal detectors for searching for archaeological objects is also an offence.
To receive a licence a formal written consent of the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is required.
It is illegal to be in possession of a metal detecting device on the site of any monument or archaeological area protected under the National Monuments Acts without the minister's consent. This also applies to areas which are subject to underwater heritage orders made under the National Monuments Acts.
Gardaí have emphasised that to engage in general searches without permission places users at risk of prosecution.
The onus is on the operator to ensure that a metal detector is used in accordance with the law.